February 4th, 2010
11:19 AM ET

32 Taliban, 3 Afghan soldiers slain in fighting

Thirty-two Taliban insurgents and three Afghan soldiers were killed in fighting between security forces and militants in southern Afghanistan, a local government official told CNN Thursday.

The violence took place on Wednesday in the Khushal Khan village of Nad Ali district in Helmand province, said the provincial governor's spokesman, Dawood Ahmadi.

The district is where the U.S. Marines are cranking up plans for a major operation against the insurgency, a push targeting a swath of territory considered the last major stronghold of the Taliban in Helmand province.

The Wednesday flareup in Khushal Khan occurred during an Afghan-NATO-led joint operation. Along with the deaths, three Afghan soldiers and a soldier from NATO's International Security Assistance Force were injured.

The Marines plan to launch a big push on Marjah, a town with 80,000 to 100,000 people in the Nad Ali district, considered to be under Taliban control. The insurgency there has influence stretching to Pakistan and the bordering provinces of Nimruz and Farah.

The Marine-led operation will "alter the ecosystem of this area significantly," Col. George Amland, the deputy commander of Task Force Leatherneck, told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.

Amland didn't say when the operation will start, but indicated it will be soon. He noted that the backbone of the force will be made up of some of the 30,000 additional U.S. troops being sent to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama and will include a large contingent of Afghan security forces.

The push will follow other big operations in Helmand - Cobra's Anger in December and Khanjar last summer.

CNN's Matiullah Mati contributed to this report

Filed under: Daily Developments • Taliban
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. SAM

    25 Million more to go..........GOOD JOB

    February 8, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. m attila

    mclovin rules:)))

    February 8, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. DREW

    We haven't hit a major fighting season this year and last year was the the highest casualty year since the war started. Obama has a long way to go in Afghanistan so lets not be naive. We are not going to be out of Afghanistan any time soon. The fight to win in Afghanistan isn't solely in Afghanistan anyway. As long as as there are bordering countries that harbor the Taliban it doesn't matter how well we fight in Afghanistan. It's much more complicated than winning over the farmers support in the country side. The Afghani security forces and Afghani Army will fold as soon as we leave the country putting us back in square one.

    February 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. larry thompson

    where's the proof no pictures it's all lies.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. McLovin

    WAR, (HOUH), YEA, WHAT is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN!
    WAR, (HOUH), good god, WHAT is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN! LIsten to me.
    OHHHHH WAR. How I despise, cause it meaaans the destruction, of innocent lives....

    Kill hoorah

    February 5, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    We're going the right way since McChrystal took over and got the troops he needed.....but if we leave in 2011 it will be because we lost- they need us and unlike the last time we shouldnt abandon them again.

    February 5, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff of Peoria

    I'm not a big Obama fan but he IS walking the talk w/ Afghanistan and Pakistan. I think he feels that is one thing that he does have total control over. It must rile him though that the only ones that are really behind him on this startegy is Republicans. The Dem's won't sign on until he's successful. I don't think we'll be out in 2011 but I appreciate the effort.

    February 5, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Larry

    I bet they will think twice about going there!!! It just shows if you train people right... The Enemy has more loses than we do!!! Were going the right way since Obama has taken office... We might be out of there by 2011!!!

    February 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |